Recently, a new little member joined our family. We try to be as prepared as possible, but still have an open mind. Since I have some friends who are/will be going through pregnancy and childbirth, I would like to share with you some essential items of the mom survival kit and advice for during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first three months.
This kit currently contains four parts:
- Childbirth/Hospital Stay
- Baby essentials (0-3 months)
Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation or free products for this review. The products below are truly what I think are useful for any mom.
This current part talks about essential items for childbirth and hospital stay. Please check the rest of the blog for the other stages.
Hospital Bag Checklist
As a first time mom, I had definitely overpacked my hospital bag. There were items I brought and didn’t use. I do recommend taking the hospital class for childbirth, if you can and are delivering at a hospital. Every hospital is different and the courses may be different though. In my course, they went through the different stages of labour, different ways of pain relief (medicated like epidural or morphine, or unmedicated tools, like breathing strategies), things the hospital would provide and things to bring, and a tour of the hospital’s maternity ward and labour rooms. The instructor recommended her own ideas, based on what worked for her as a mother, like coconut oil for meconium and natural strategies of getting through those painful contractions.
Here are the top 10 items I think should go in your hospital bag:
- Bag to contain everything: I used a duffle bag just because it’s easier to find things. Instead of having to take things out to reach other items, you can just push things to the side.
- Phone/Camera/iPad and charging cable: Your phone or camera is definitely your best sidekick for documenting those first moments and days of your new baby! Your family and friends will want updates on the baby, so the phone/tablet is a great portable way to keep in touch! Our hospital provides Wi-Fi. Don’t forget charging cables to stay connected!
- Water bottle with a straw: The room I was in to give birth was hot and dry. I became thirsty so frequently that I needed to take a gulp of water after each push! The straw makes it easy to drink water from and avoids it from splashing all over you.
- Lip balm or Vaseline, lotion: As mentioned, the room really was really dry. My lips felt so chapped, that lip balm or Vaseline would help. Also, having Vaseline handy is also useful for putting on the baby’s bum to wipe meconium off more easily. Meconium is the baby’s first poo from the months spent inside. It is a sticky black tar.
- Blanket and pillow: Blankets and pillows from home help make you and your partner’s stay more comfortable.
- Hair ties: Hair ties keep hair out of the face, especially when the main focus should be on pushing, not sweeping hair out of the face!
- Slippers: Slippers are easier than socks to slip on, for when you need to go between rooms or to the bathroom.
- Food for partner or for yourself overnight or snacks: they only provide food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But you may find yourself hungry in the middle of the night, particularly if you deliver in the middle of the night.
- Velcro swaddles: We found the hospital blankets difficult to swaddle tightly with. Looking back, we should have brought some Velcro swaddles. It may have even bought us a little more sleep!
- Coming home outfit and car seat: Make sure that if you’re coming home by car, that the car seat is properly installed. The baby should have a proper outfit to match the weather that baby would come home in. Our baby was born in the winter, so we had her in a fleece onesie, with a fleece car seat cover, and a blanket to keep her warm on the short trip home. Do not use a snowsuit in a car seat, as this would affect the how secure the straps are on the baby’s chest.
Here are items that my hospital provided:
- Peri (perineum) bottle: the hospital provided me with this. It is a squirt bottle to spray your privates when you go to the washroom, for relief and cleaning. Tissue paper may feel too rough for swollen parts that may have just received stitches, so warm water is more soothing.
- Ice packs: ice was generously provided in the kitchen. This is useful for soothing some sore swollen bits!
- Drinkable water
- Baby’s thermometer
- Baby’s first hat: keep this in a ziplock bag to contain the baby’s amniotic fluid smell and give it back to baby when you’re first home!
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided for the duration of the stay to the person giving birth. It usually had coffee/tea, milk, fruit, meal, and grains.
What I didn’t need to bring:
- Tennis balls for massage
- A desk fan to keep cool
- Shower supplies: the shower in my room was out of order! We were so happy to shower again at home!
- Books – we were a little preoccupied with the baby and everything going on to read. What time wasn’t spent on baby was trying to catch the little bits of sleep possible! But if you want to bring a book to read during labour and able to concentrate after birth, there is one light hearted and funny read I recommend called Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths!